Jumper: How would you handle this? Walking a fine line...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Jumper has been really closed down lately, which is her way of dealing with problems. Finally I asked her what was wrong and she broke down crying and said she wasn't voted captain of her basketball team and that everyone hates her. She really deserved to be captain too. She's the leader. If she plays poorly, and out of frustration and demoralization over this, she hasn't been doing well...nor has anyone else. Seems like as she goes, so goes the team...but...

    She is almost 18. And she does not like to whine or tell me everything. I just found out that maybe a month ago some girls went and got concert tickets and did not ask her to go with them. According to a friend of mine who I trust, the girls did it when Jumper wasn't there and then the tickets ran out. That's, I'm sure, the short version. That's all my friend knows. So Jumper took it to mean she was ignored by her crowd and would not talk to her close friend for a long time and is still ignoring everyone as it snowballs out of control. Whether they are being mean to her or not, I don't know. All I know is that she feels like her only friend at school is her AWESOME and neverfailingly kind boyfriend. But usually the best player on a team is voted the captain and she is the best player on the team, All-Conference, the hardest working player they have.

    She has not been her normal self lately.

    Since I don't really know 100% of the story (nobody except the girls involved probably ever will) I don't know what to do. She may be cutting off her nose to spite her face. Jumper is VERY stubborn. I did talk to her coach who admitted that Jumper is acting different and unmotivated and I told her why and suggested she give Jumper a position on the team that will make her feel validated and appreciated because otherwise she probably won't have a very good year (which means the team won't). The coach is very eager to have a good team...they have the potential.

    I am at a loss because Jumper doesn't usually hurt for friends. It's not like anyone would bully her. I think kids would be afraid to bully her because of her size and strength. But they can ignore her. Or she could be ignoring them. My friend says her daughter has made overtures to Jumper, but that Jumper refuses to take them. I don't know how much of this is true or not.

    I hate to see Jumper so sad in her senior year. Plus she is unmotivated about what to do regarding college now and this is the time when she has to apply and get her act together, but she seems depressed. I told her I'd like to have her to talk to a counselor and she said, "Go ahead, but I won't talk. I won't say a word." And she won't.

    Jumper is almost eighteen. I can't make her go to counseling and it won't work if she refuses to talk. How would you handle this? It is such an important time of her senior year with making college choices and stuff. My normal gut says to let her work it out, but if something doesn't change, she won't work it out. How would you handle this? Her coach is concerned and said she'll handle it tonight.

    Why is it so hard to be a mom, especially of an older kid when you can't do much? Seems like when one is thriving the other is having problems, especially when there are FOUR kids.

    On another sweet note, Scott, the child who hasn't spoken to us for six years, had another grandchild of mine I will never see. But, on the plus side, Julie is pregnant. I don't know whether to be happy or sad...lol. Seriously, right now my focus is Jumper. She is a hard kid to help because she never asks for any help, but she does need guidance right now. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!
  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Jumper actually sounds similar to my difficult child. She takes things very personally and holds on to the anger about it forever. She has often cut of her nose to save face. Once she gets angry or upset by someone she stays that way for a long time and it definitely causes her issues at school and with teams. It also caused us issues because anything you ever did was held against you for life. On the other hand she didn't think anything she did should be held against her for even 1 minute. Punishments should last all of 2 seconds and then the event should be forgotten.

    I tried several ways to help but honestly in difficult child's case nothing worked. I tried sitting difficult child down and explaining the situation to her as best as I could from the opposite point of view. That didn't work because then I wasn't being understanding and supportive of her. I tried listening and giving advice. That never worked because my advice was useless. I tried leaving it alone. That worked for me since I didn't have to deal with it but not for her since the issue didn't get resolved. I finally had to go so far as to report some of the issues to the school (cyberbullying). She moved out 48 hours later.

    All I can say is with teenage girls it is a **** shoot. Hopefully Jumper is more open to support than my difficult child. I wish you the best of luck.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    thank you. I may just have to tell her she can't play if it affects her grades, her mood and if she won't go to the doctor for her knee, especially the last. She is usually able to be reasoned with, but she also can be very stubborn when she is hurt (feelings).
  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Maybe it is time for her to face few unpleasant truths? Sometimes swift kick to the backside is just what one needs. And Jumper is smart and reasonable girl, she will learn her lessons.

    Captainship is not about her entailment. Just now she is not behaving like captain and doesn't deserve to be a captain. She can either sulk about it, or she can show others what she is made of and that she is a true leader. To show that leadership one doesn't even need to be a captain.

    And if she has an injury that needs doctor, that is not negotiable. Sport injuries can have very nasty long term effects if not treated properly (and even when treated.)

    Jumper has a good head on her shoulders, she will find her way. But I understand very well how incoming (and aren't the deadlines really close for you now?) college a application deadlines and decisions make you nervous for that to happen quickly.
  5. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    This could be her way of dealing with the stress of graduation and leaving her friends. Leave them now and it won't hurt as much when she graduates and really leaves them?

    I agree that you can't force her to a counselor but you can and must force her to a doctor if her knee is really bad enough to need it.

    As for being captain, I'd tell her it's over-rated. The captain gets blamed if the team does poorly. If she ups her game, it sounds like she could be MVP, which is a better award anyway.

    I'm dealing with a easy child who has already told me he isn't even applying for college. He wants a gap year like difficult child but difficult child had a year's worth of AP credits and easy child has none.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Interesting variety of thoughts here. I have nothing to offer except a soft shoulder. {{hugs}}
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all.

    I made Jumper come home after basketball practice tonight to talk to me. And, yes, in way below zero weather and on a Sunday night, they had basketball practice.

    Jumper seemed fine. Talking about her knee she insisted the trainer saw her and bent her knee in this way and that way and said it was just bruised and that she didn't need to go because it is much better. I told her that if I see her favoring it in a game, she WILL go to the doctor. Her teenage answer? "WHATEVAH!" I believe it doesn't hurt her much anymore.

    I checked her grades and they are excellent. I should have done that before I wrote this. And I have to remember that she is very resilient. She does not seem depressed tonight. I think her funk was over the basketball captain thing, but tonight all she wanted to do was to get back to her boyfriend who was waiting outside in the car. This kid is gold. I hope she dates him six more years and marries him. It's not just him, it's his entire family. She is always with him and maybe he is enough for her. On top of being a boyfriend, he is a great best friend. I got off track. She also told me she is applying to the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, which means she has not forgotten about her hopes and dreams. So I guess I had a mommy panic attack...lol. Can you relate?

    Having gotten her knee's status tentatively resolved, I am going to back off and let her solve this herself (the problem with the girls). She does not seem to want to resolve it...it can take her a long time to get over a hurt.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sure sounds like Jumper is on the upswing. Frankly I was going to "gently" suggest that perhaps the problems were not basketball but her new "best friend boyfriend". Why? Well, based on teen raising experience of too many years, I feared that (1) his deep presence in her life could have alienated or lessed her "bond" with the girls or (2) heaven forbid, she is now or is contemplating a more intimate relationship. been there done that, myself. If there's any chance that (2) is the issue I wouldn't hesitate a minute to discuss the dangers of spending too much time with her boyfriend and perhaps brith control too. It's been over 50 years since I "fell in love" in high school and I still remember how the joy was almost overwhelmed by the awareness of hormones. Sigh.

    As always I have a warm spot for Jumper and hope she regains her happy confidence. Hugs DDD
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    DDD, thank you.

    Although anything could be going on between them, I don't think sex has happened in spite of all the time they spend together. This boy is very shy and Jumper is the more dominant one in the relationship. She would have to be the aggressor and she has repeatedly said she is not interested in sex right now and girls who have babies in high school are "dumb" (her word). I think she would not be afraid to ask me for birth control. She knows that won't freak me out. Of course, there are always possibilities, but she does not seem upset because of him. It seems to center around these girls and basketball. I will remind her again that she can always ask me to get her birth control. She usually laughs when I bring it up, but not in a mean way.

    I am going to call her counselor this morning as Jumper has the highest respect for her and she has the advantage of not being Mom :)